WOLVES have been officially declared extinct in the Andalucia region though experts say there have not been any sightings for a decade.

The regional government’s environment department has been carrying out a wolf census for 20 years and despite it being a protect species, they’ve admitted ‘there has been no signs of its presence since 2020’.

Until 13 years ago, it was believed that there were up eight wolfpacks in Andalucia consisting of as many as 56 wolves mainly in the Sierra Morena.

Luis Suarez from the WWF in Spain said: “This confirms the negative trend for the few existing wolfpacks in southern Spain, which are threatened through being physically and genetically isolated from wolves in the rest of Spain, by loss of habitat, poaching and illegal hunting.”

Suarez blamed the Andalucian government for not taking appropriate conservation measures for years and being scared of confronting hunters and livestock farmers.

Just a few hundred wolves remained in Spain by the 1970’s due to a policy of eradication through poisoning, but since that was outlawed numbers have crept up.

In the most recent 2021 national census there were up to 2,500 wolves recorded in 297 packs- 90% of which were in the north-west, mainly in Castilla y Leon, Galicia and Asturias, where they enjoy protected species status helped by the national banning of wolf hunting two years ago.


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